Hell knows no fury…
Laughter fills my lungs anytime I hear men say they have women in the bag. Do we look like objects to you? You would think men would be more appreciative in their stride considering women are the actual bosses. I can feel the disapproval of men seeping through my seat as I speak. But who cares? I certainly don’t (sips wine). Women didn’t ask to be created you know. The Maker is a very busy person and cannot always keep an eye on men hence the creation of the woman; to keep men in check. Think about it – an assistant manager type position while He takes care of more pressing issues. So hold on to your Dukus my women, after all, six inches eight hours a day is but the eighth wonder of the world. We are the eighth wonder honey!
What?! You had better get back to typing. You are paid handsomely to write my every word and not to stare at me judgingly because you do not agree with my ideas and thoughts. In fact, I will have to start looking for a new desperate writer – I grow weary of you. Fiwww…! don’t try me this early afternoon. I am in my Nairobi blue Prada dress from the spring collection. Let me be great! Now get back to typing!
So as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted (eyeballs the innocent writer), men like to take center stage and steal all the attention every single time. Read your history books, almost every major war ever fought had a woman at its center of cause. Helen of Troy; Queen Cleopatra; Yaa Asantewaa… men are just jokers and this includes my husband Kwaku Ananse – the biggest joker (with a smirk, takes another sip of wine). Oh… men, men, men!!!
An issue weighs heavy on my heart. It has for many centuries now. Have you people ever wondered why all these stories are called Kwaku Ananse tales? Have you really given it some deep thought? Forget about the fact that it might be because my husband is at the center of these stories. The tale of the tortoise and the hare is equally considered a Kwaku Ananse tale even among the people of Ghana where my family and I currently reside.
If we were being critical, the stories should have been called Ama Ananse stories. But no! A man wins the day again where a woman actually triumphed. At least now our pito-drinking-oral-story-tellers by the fire side have heard my cries and renamed the stories Anansesem.
Today, I would like to share this achievement with you and tell you how all these tales got the name Spider tales or Anansesem.
Back in the day, all the tales told were stories of The Maker. Kwaku Ananse, who was and is very conceited, wanted the stories to be told about him (typical of men). He came home one day, exasperated and jittery. He went on and on about how he is the best out of all The Maker’s creations and how he should be honored by all. Being the good wife, I explained to him how he could execute this amicably by going to The Maker and presenting him with a proposal He could not refuse. I sat down with Mewura Kwaku and developed all sorts of selling points on how we, the Ananses (note the use of “we” not “he”) could have our stories told by all!
Kwaku was highly excited after I was done drawing out our beautiful plot and its execution. It was certainly a win-win situation for all involved and our proposal was one The Maker would never refuse. So Kwaku booked an appointment and met up with The Almighty. The Maker was highly impressed (not that I had anything to do with it) but… there is always a “but” with The Maker. He would agree to our proposal on one condition. He told Kwaku that, he must bring him three things: the first was a jar full of live bees; the second was a boa-constrictor, and the third a tiger. Kwaku of course gave his promise without a plan but knew he was covered because he has a wife like me (sips some more wine).
Kwaku came home immediately without even passing through Aunty Adiza’s drinking spot for his usual two tots. That should tell you the magnitude of the situation. We set to work as soon as he arrived and I spared no time on my drawing board giving him ideas on how to capture these animals. I am that good my people. For your information, I have been offered a high management job at a certain agency I refuse to name where a lot of international investigation takes place. The family business of trickery pops out my eye color so obviously I turned that opportunity down. Family must always come first (smirks).
For the bees, he took a pot and set out for a place where he knew they hang out in their numbers. When he came in sight of the bees he began saying to himself, “They will not be able to fill this jar”— “Yes, they will be able”—“No, they will not be able,” until the bees came up to him and said, “What are you talking about, Mr. Kwaku Ananse?” He then told them how he and The Maker had had a great dispute. The Maker had said the bees could not fly into the jar— he, Kwaku, had said they could. The bees immediately declared that of course they could fly into the jar. They at once did. As soon as they were safely trapped inside, Kwaku sealed up the jar and sent it off to The Maker – Smart right? Don’t you all praise me at once.
Next day he took a long stick and set out in search of a boa-constrictor. Just as we had planned, he arrived at the place where one lived and began speaking to himself again. “He will just be as long as this stick”— “No, he will not be so long as this”—“Yes, he will be as long as this.” These words he repeated over and over again, till the boa came out and asked him what the matter was. “I have been having a dispute with The Maker about you. He claims you are not as long as this stick. I say you are. Please let me measure you by it to prove Him wrong.” The boa stupidly laid himself out straight, and Kwaku immediately tied him to the stick and sent it also to The Maker who was obviously shocked.
We were on fire I tell you! You see how having an industrious wife by your side can be of great benefit to a family? Well, we were left with the final and most challenging task – capturing the tiger. This would obviously demand attention to detail and wit of which none had seen (qualities I breathe every day). So this is how it went down. I took a needle and thread and sewed up Kwaku’s eyes. Oh yes I did! Desperate times call for desperate measures.
He then set out for a den where he knew a tiger lived. As he approached the place he began to shout and sing so loudly that the tiger came out to see what the matter was. “Can you not see?” said Kwaku. “My eyes are sewn up, and now I can see such beautiful things that I must sing about them.” “Sew up my eyes,” said the tiger, “so I too can see these surprising and beautiful sights.” Kwaku immediately did so with some challenge of course. But we had practiced so he was safe. Having made the tiger helpless, he led him straight to The Maker (I was having none of that cat hair all over my Persian carpets).
The Maker was amazed at Kwaku’s supposed cleverness (we all know the amazement was directed at me right? Good!), in fulfilling the three conditions that he decided to grant Kwaku his wish. Now this is where the back stabbing began. Kwaku and I had decided to call the tales “The Ananse stories” or “Anansesem” depicting not just his stories but that of the whole family. You see how selfless I was?
Ananse being who he was got carried away and told The Maker to name all the tales Kwaku Ananse stories and they should be told about him. How convenient. It got approved and he had the guts to come home and gloat about it. I got so pissed but what can you do? Till date, my cousin the Black Widow eats all her new husbands the first night after their wedding just to make a statement to Kwaku. This I find hilarious because Kwaku avoids her at all family gatherings out of fear of being eaten every time. He still remains the charming husband I married many centuries ago and I will always end up protecting him (sigh). After all there are many ways of making Kwaku atone for his sins against me. I can fight my own battles even in my Louboutin shoes you know.
Well that is the story behind how my husband stole my shine. But at least now you know the truth and that is the main reason why I decided to start telling the Ananse tales as they actually happened through my eyes. You can choose to believe them or not. I really do not care.
A major lesson to learn from this is never to send your husband alone on a job which involves the family. He can never be trusted and will steal your shine in the name of “but I am the head of the family” and like Kwaku, not even give the wife or the whole family some credit.
Onua- suro nipa n’agyai saman na onipa hu y3 hu! Onipa y3 bad – like a woman scorned!
Anyway, I have to end here my lovelies. In my next episode, I will probably reveal some of my foreign exploits to you lot. Brace yourselves (deep laughter).
Happy 57th Independence Day Ghana!
Love your neighbors and respect your elders… kisses!!!
Sister Ama at the Oscars looking fabulous.
P.S – In just two months, the blog has received close to two thousand visitors. I discovered this on my birthday. I must say this was the best birthday gift one could ever receive and I promise to continue to bring you worthwhile creative pieces. I am because you are! This is to us and thank you very much. As we continue to grow in numbers, Sister Ama and I together say, A la santé!! Cheers!